after seeing the post, i was very curious about this place, so i went with my dad and dongbei friend. at 5:25 pm on a sunday, there was already a line out the door. wallace's post is accurate. it's packed, inside and out. hours are indeed posted as 6am to 2am!
no one in the crowd is there for atmosphere, so big surprise, the food is pretty good. the lamb hot pot was rich and savory, if a tad mild. the baby greens were bright and crisp. the steamed lamb dumplings were actually very good (both filling and wrapper) except that i'm convinced we were given pork by mistake. i love lamb dumplings, but since these were so good, it wasn't a prob for me, but i'm not a muslim! somehow, the only real letdown was one of the most iconic dongbei dishes, green pepper with pork.
apparently, these are supposed to be moderately spicy peppers stuffed with ground pork. what was served was roasted peppers covered with simple sauteed julienned pork. the shortcut is obvious, and in my opinion, fatal to the dish. the pork and peppers had no opportunity to fuse their flavors. additionally, the peppers were like a box of chocolates. most were totally mild, even sweet. but a few seemed like full on serranos, perfectly indistinguishable and inextinguishable. whew!
anyway, it's worth going, but be prepared to wait a bit or go at odd hours. personally, i'd rather go at odd hours. the service is overwhelmed at sunday dinner (they forgot our rice even). and my impression is that their simpler, stewier, doughier offerings are their true strength.
they need to improve their organization, but with naught but a 2am to 6am window to reflect on how, it doesn't seem they have the time or energy to do it. the crowds of patrons suggest that for the time being at least, they won't have to.